Categories
#foodbeast FOODBEAST Grocery Packaged Food SPONSORED

Make Pho In Under 3 Minutes With These Game-Changing Instant Noodle Bowls

Instant noodles aren’t normally seen as a delicacy, but be prepared to have that notion flipped. Malleable yet texturally distinctive, they can be found in most pantries, regardless of cultural background. But sometimes the average batch of instant noodles doesn’t quite satisfy the craving for that big bowl of pho, ramen, or whatever noodle soup floats your boat. It’s this spot that Snapdragon Foods aims to hit. 

Snapdragon’s noodles, highlighted in our newest News Bites video, look to provide an authentic experience with some of the world’s favorite noodle soup dishes, but in an accessible, take home package.

That means that their Vietnamese beef pho bowls come with real rice noodles and authentic spices. My personal favorite, the Singapore-style Laksa Curry Bowls, includes not only rice noodles and a spice mixture, but also coconut powder and chili oil that give the dish far more depth than what’s expected from a bowl of instant noodles.

Their other soup flavors include Veggie, Mushroom, and Garlic. Some are in bowl, some are in packets, and all are delicious and can be found on their website. Oh, and don’t forget the newly launched ramens, either.

All of their products are inspired by the streets and kitchens of Asia. They take special pride in their noodle quality, already giving the brand a step up on many instant noodle makers. Their noodles are made in Vietnam, and whether made for pho or ramen, have a delicateness to them, yet also hold a chewy bounce and remain highly slurpable. 

Snapdragon’s noodle soups can be found at retailers across the country, although the deepest and most consistent stock of all noodle flavors is housed on the brand’s website. While you’re there, use the code BEAST15 for 15% off your purchase! 

Make sure to peep Snapdragon’s Instagram for noodle inspo once you get a pack in hand, then top them with your favorite toppings, and tag us and Snapdragon to show us your creations.

Created in partnership with Snapdragon Foods.

Categories
Culture Features Feel Good Restaurants

Why One of 2019’s Most Hyped Indian Restaurants Doesn’t Serve Curry

Heena Patel is mad. 

As the owner of Besharam, an acclaimed San Francisco restaurant that serves cuisine from Chef Heena’s home state in India, Gujarat, she’s tired of the expectations for Indian restaurants. Buffets, chicken tikka masala, curry — this isn’t what Indian food means to her, so none of it is on the menu. 

“Why call it curry, if it doesn’t even mean anything?” she says, referring to the fact that “curry,” as most people know it in America, is a catch-all term used for a number of dishes that span the entire Indian subcontinent. Curry isn’t a dish, it’s a spice blend, and Heena wants her menu to reflect that. 

She refuses to use the umbrella term (or any others, like naan) on her menu for ignorance’s sake. And, when oft-seen Indian dishes do appear on her menu, she uses their traditional name. So, no, she doesn’t serve butter chicken. She serves murgh makhani. 

Indeed, she’s fiercely insistent on not indulging uncompromising customers. But, she has no problem educating them, and she’ll do so excitedly.

For serving such spicy food, Heena is remarkably sweet. She says your name constantly throughout conversation as if you’re lifelong friends, she sighs softly before talking about something that excites her, and she’ll tell you to give her a call if you’re ever in the area a mere 30 minutes after meeting her over the phone. She’s a mainstay at the restaurant, along with her husband, Paresh, who runs the front of house operations.

“I’m here everyday, to tell my food that I put on my menu… We are ready to say the stories. We are not just putting [food] in front of them!” she emphasizes before giving the background behind her shrikhand cheesecake, which is a hybrid of two childhood treats: shrikhand, a popular Indian yogurt dessert, and Parle-G, a crunchy biscuit sold in most Indian stores.

When Besharam originally opened in May 2018, this sense of homeliness wasn’t exactly the case. 

Initially opened in partnership with esteemed chef Daniel Patterson’s restaurant investment group, Alta Restaurant Group, Besharam was described as “Californian Gujarati cuisine.” The menu aimed Gujarati cuisine palatable towards those who would otherwise be thrown off by its distinctions, like its lack of meat options. While the restaurant received encouraging reviews, and business was good, conflict was brewing behind the scenes. 

For Heena, staying true to herself is of the utmost importance. Sometimes, that means going against the grain. Born and raised in Mumbai, the second largest city in India, Heena had a traditional upbringing. 

“In my household…  if you stay home, if you manage your house, if you feed your in-laws, your children, then you’re the best daughter-in-law in the world… If you decide to go out of that box, you are not. You are besharam, you are shameless,” she says, shining light on the name of her restaurant. “I always wanted to have a different life than my grandmother and my mom. It’s sad to say.”

Despite this, she followed in their footsteps. She moved to London at 21, where an arranged marriage was waiting, and, after spending five years helping her mother-in-law around the house, moved to Vallejo, CA five years later. There, the Patel’s opened a flower shop and liquor store. While their businesses provided enough for a comfortable life, Heena still felt unfulfilled.

“I wanted to have my own path. I won’t wait for someone else to give me my happiness, I realized I had to go for it.” she said.

During those 20 years, Heena delved into her culture’s cuisine, and learned how to make the childhood dishes she often craved. She began introducing it to her friends, who suggested she open a restaurant. 

Heena initially wanted to open a food truck. This meant joining La Cocina, an incubation group that assists underrepresented populations in the restaurant community in organizing a plan to achieve their restaurant aspirations. After a couple years of running successful pop-ups and catering events, the food truck idea became a restaurant idea that soon became reality.

In early 2018, Alta approached her. At the time the group was looking to support underrepresented chefs, most of whom it has since split with in highly publicized feuds, and offered her a space. Besharam opened later that year, in May, in the Dogpatch San Francisco neighborhood in which it still resides, as a partnership between Heena and the restaurant group. 

Often restricted by this agreement during the initial run, Heena found her restaurant, and herself by extension, pandering to those who only want to eat what they know. After not even a year, Heena and Alta split in April 2019. Backed by investors, she took full control of the restaurant space, and introduced a revitalized menu.

Since then, Besharam has excelled. In 2019, it was named Eater SF’s Restaurant of the Year and was featured in Thrillist’s roundup of the best places to eat in San Francisco, among other praisings.

“Not to show off, but it boosts my confidence… I wanted everyone to recognize me as a chef,” she says of the recent hype. “Because I don’t have any process, I don’t have any template to follow. I don’t have any… say, my mom or grandparents are in the hospitality business. I’m doing it because I know. All I have is me and my confidence.” she professed.

At the end of the day, that’s all any of us have: ourselves and our confidence in who we are and what we do. And Heena Patel, the chef unabashedly bucking her family’s traditional desires to fulfill her own, and carving a space for an Indian restaurant that scoffs at relying on popular Indian dishes, is living proof of what can be done with that.

Categories
#foodbeast FOODBEAST Health Restaurants Sustainability Technology

A Dosa-Making Robot Is A Highlight At This Modern Indian Restaurant

This past May Dalup Modern Indian opened on 350 7th Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Featuring a pan-Indian menu developed by Bravo’s Top Chef alum Dave Martin, patrons are invited to create their own personalized korma bowls — or as Dalup calls them, “karma bowls.” With a focus on lighter and more modern versions of traditional Indian cuisine, each bowl includes your choice of base — biryani rice, long grain brown rice or citrus and tomato freekeh — and choice of dairy and gluten-free curry. Nat Loganathan, an owner of Dalup, has this to say:

“Born and raised in Southern India and now long time New Yorkers, we wanted to create a warm and welcoming eatery offering modern Indian cuisine. We wanted to keep the authentically bold flavors, but focus on making it light and fresh with everything prepared in-house.”

Dalup has its sights set on delivering consistency in food quality and operations. To achieve this, Dalup makes creative use of specialized equipment to bake their Naan bread and grill their kebab-style meat, which includes chicken, pork and lamb. One of the most interesting things Dalup has done is incorporate a custom robotic dosa machine that makes dosas à la minute. Yes, robots are indeed taking over. With technology playing a major role, Dalup also donates proceeds to Girls Who Code, a national none-profit organization whose mission is to close the gender gap in technology.

Dalup uses locally sourced meats and produce, housemade dough, spice blends, and supports sustainable and socially responsible production. So if you’re looking for tasty and healthy indian food with a robotic twist, Dalup Modern Indian may be the right fit for you.

 

Photos: Dalup Modern Indian by Simmer Group
Categories
Hacks

A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding The World Of Curry

Photo: So Delicious

Maybe you’ve had a lovely curry for dinner. Or maybe you’re thinking of trying to cook one. This can be confusing since there are multiple things that bear that name. Read the curry basics right here and then start on your own curry-cooking adventure.

What are the elements that define a curry? Well, that would entirely depend on what is referenced with that name. Because when we say ‘curry’, we could be talking about the dish, the leaves, the powder, or even the ‘curries’. What’s the difference between all of these? Are you feeling just a little bit confused? Read on and find out all about the curry basics, so that you can identify them easier next time.

Now, even for a curry dish, the situation can be complicated, because a curry describes a large category of dishes, with different ways of making and different times it takes to cook them. But let’s take it one step at a time and discover these curry basics.

Curry Basics: Know the Difference Between Leaves, Powder and Dish
Curries are a British invention and they cover multiple types of South Indian dishes.

Curry basics: What are we talking about?

Curry leaves

These curry things are actually an herb used in South Indian Cuisine, which originates from the curry leaf tree. Sometimes the curry leaves are ground and used in the spice mix that eventually becomes curry powder. Then, you should also know that the curry leaf tree is not the same as the curry plant. The latter is not really edible, it just has a name that evokes edible things. Confusing, we know, but we’re getting there with the knowledge.

So now that we know what curry leaves are not, let’s find out more about them. They belong to the citrus fruit family, they’re glossy green with a powerful flavor, bitter and sweet.

How to cook with them? Most of the time you can use them in lieu of bay leaves in all kinds of dishes like stews. The usual technique with curry leaves is to fry them a little in some oil, to get them to release their flavor.

Buy them at Indian and Asian food markets. Store them in the freezer.

Curry Basics: Know the Difference Between Leaves, Powder and Dish
Curry leaves are in fact related to citrus fruit and have a bitter and sweet flavor.

Curry powder

This bright yellow curry powder looks a little bit like turmeric (though turmeric is a bit more on the golden side of the color wheel). But unlike turmeric, which is its own thing, curry powder is a mixture of spices that has no exact, classic recipe. You can make your own and adjust – there is no established ingredient list or ratio for the ingredients. So try some recipes you find online and then adjust so that the flavors are perfect for your tastes.

Some of the usual ingredients you might find in the recipes are turmeric, ginger, dry mustard, cumincoriander, black pepper, and fenugreek. Usually, there are about 5-10 spices that make up your curry powder.

How did this come about? It’s actually a colonial British concept. British manufacturers concocted this powder to evoke the flavors of South India, so it’s more of a construct than a traditional thing. We could compare curry powder with the garam masala mixture, but one of them, the latter, is traditional, while the other one is not. If you’re looking for some curry powder recipes to cook, you can find plenty of them right here.

Curry Basics: Know the Difference Between Leaves, Powder and Dish
You can use curry powder to make an excellent homemade sauce.

Curry – the dish

So, what does that mean for curry – the dish? Especially since curry powder is a British invention? You might be surprised, but the dish is also pretty much British, too. That’s colonialism, for you! The word ‘curry’ is itself British (those saucy Brits, they labeled so many food items with it!) and its exact origin is not known. One hypothesis? It’s derived from the word ‘kari’, which means ‘sauce’ in Tamil, a South Indian language.

So, the Brits just took all of the savory and spicy Indian dishes and threw them into one category, not differentiating too much between them. But let’s try to define a curry since we’re here. A curry is a dish cooked in a spicy sauce. The dish is made with meat or vegetables. And it’s usually served with a side of rice.

Curry basics around the world

Because the British Empire was so large and influential, curries became exceedingly popular. That’s how a lot of other countries took over curries and put out their own versions.

There’s a Japanese version that’s sweet, mild, meaty and made with vegetables and gravy. Jamaica has its own famous curry, made with goat meat, allspice, and pimento. Then there’s Thailand’s curry, which resembles soup and is made with coconut milk and fiery chiles.

Related Links:


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Restaurants What's New

Curry House And Sanrio Just Created An Exclusive Gudetama Menu

Photo: Sanrio

Fans of Sanrio’s popular Gudetama, prepare your palates and your camera phones.

In a special collaboration with Curry House, the lazy cartoon egg will be the star of an exclusive menu created by the restaurant chain. It’s pretty darn adorable, too.

Patrons of Curry House will be able to enjoy a special multi-course tasting menu for $29. The Gudetama-inspired dinner features keema curry (with rice, salad, corn soup), custard pudding, and a beverage. Guests will also receive a limited edition Gudetama x Curry House beanie for attending the tasting.

Photo: Sanrio

Select menu items will also feature Gudetama’s likeness, including his face looking at you from a bright yellow yolk.

Mark your calendars, as the Gudetama x Curry House collaboration will begin on Oct. 20, 2017 and run through Jan. 20, 2018. This leaves plenty of time to get your lazy egg fix before it comes to a close.

Gudetama’s menu will be available at all nine Curry House locations throughout California.

Categories
Now Trending Restaurants Video

A Legendary Competitive Eater Can’t Even Handle This 22-Pound Mountain of Curry Rice

We’ve been witness to some insane eating challenges here at Foodbeast… but this gargantuan pile of curry rice takes the cake as the biggest we’ve ever seen.

According to Kotaku, the 10 kilogram (or 22.2 pound) challenge is the biggest offering on the “challenge menu” at Gold Curry in Kanazawa, Japan and in Bangkok, Thailand. While it normally costs 8,000 yen (or about $72 US Dollars), if you can finish the whole platter of white rice, curry sauce, fried pork cutlets, and cabbage in an hour, you take home a cool 900 bucks (or 100,000 yen).

So far, it seems that nobody has been able to take down the entire plate in an hour, and with good reason. The challenge predominantly consists of rice, which contains a ton of starch that can expand easily in your stomach and make it even harder to finish eating. The fact that you’re eating enough rice to feed a family of five for at least a couple of weeks doesn’t make it any easier.

If that doesn’t make the challenge seem daunting enough for you, top-notch competitive eater Joey Chestnut actually took the 22-pound platter on last year, as seen in the above video… and FAILED.

The one person who might ever be able to take it on is Chestnut’s colleague in the competitive eating world, Matt Stonie. He actually attempted a nine kilogram version of the challenge that he made at home and finished it in 55 minutes. Could he have taken on another couple of pounds in five minutes? Who knows.

In any case, if you think you’re up for the task, go try to conquer this insane eating feat. You’re sure to be immortalized in competitive eating history if you do.

Categories
Cravings Video

The Spiciest Curry On Earth Must Be Prepared With Gas Masks [WATCH]

A good, spicy curry should be able to make your forehead glisten like the wet rocks along a coast as the morning sun gently touches their surfaces. S0 imagine how drenched you’ll get when your lips touch the fiery overtures of the world’s spiciest bowl of curry.

YouTuber Strictly Dumpling visits Brick Lane Curry, home of what’s said to be the world’s spiciest curry.

Made with Carolina Reaper peppers, chefs have to actually throw on a GAS MASK in order to prepare the dish. Originally, the dish was prepared with habanero peppers, but has gotten a reboot over the years with the reapers.

Like most food challenges, the consumer has to sign a waiver giving consent to any health problems that may occur from such a devilish dish.

We’re sweating just watching him attempt this feat.

Brick Curry has two locations, one in New York and one in New Jersey. You can find the Carolina Reaper Curry at the Jersey location.

Obviously, try it at your own risk.

Categories
Restaurants

This Porn Star Just Opened A Restaurant That Specializes In Poop-Flavored Curry

CNN-Poo-Curry-Japan

Screenshot: CNN

If you’re one of Japan’s most popular porn stars, naturally your next career move has to be in the food industry. That’s exactly what Ken Shimizu set out to do when he opened Curry Shop Shimizu. The Tokyo-based eatery will now and forever be known as the spot that serves poop-flavored curry.

CNN got a sneak peek at the curry shop and says the purpose of the place is to “Satisfy an unlikely lifelong desire to find out what excrement tastes like.”

Yep, because that’s what we dream of accomplishing with our taste buds.

CNN-Poo-Curry-Japan-2

Screenshot: CNN

While not actual poop, the curry purposely mimics the texture and flavor of human excrement. Ingredients include fish, bitter tea, cocoa butter and other pungent additions. Pretty much it’s brown, runny and smells terribly.

Shimizu, under the screen name Shimiken, allegedly began his adult film career eating feces on camera. Sources say he ate the feces of more than 250 people, unofficially qualifying him as an authority on how poop should taste.

Since it’s opening in August, the restaurant has garnered a following of regulars that frequent the curry house. Also, of the first 300 visitors to the restaurant, 90 percent had finished their poo curry.

Licked. Clean.

Who knows how long Shimizu’s restaurant could last in Tokyo. A spot with a similar premise opened right here in California, only to go down the toilet.

Photos: CNN